OPINION

We need to do more to become ‘dementia friendly’

Posted On 22 May 2022 at 12:11 pm

Dementia Action Week ends today (Sunday 22 May) and I am pleased to see that the council has responded positively to Labour’s motion about dementia.

It announced further measures to help sufferers across our city by pledging to become more dementia friendly.

Dementia is not prioritised sufficiently and is an increasing challenge for society. There is much to be done, including

  • delivering independence, choice and control for as long as possible
  • ensuring we deliver high-quality health and social care
  • prioritising work with the NHS to improve diagnostic rates and memory assessment services
  • appointing “dementia champions” from each council team and among councillors
  • providing services and public spaces that are dementia friendly
  • campaigning for a reduction in stigma

Spacewords Brighton

We have a lot of good things to be proud of in this city. We have a public health specialist in dementia, appointed by the previous Labour administration.

Our specialist has made real progress, including working to make buses more dementia friendly, improving signage in public places such as parks and toilets and delivering staff awareness training.

This is fantastic work, but we can do much more. We need to continue to address the ageism and stigma associated with dementia.

A diagnosis improves the chances of having a good quality of life for many years as there are many ways to manage the condition.

There’s also action we can take to reduce dementia risk such as encouraging healthy lifestyles and stopping smoking.

To find out more or to get involved, look at the Alzheimer’s Society pages here.

In the past week I was delighted to learn that our bid for the “Mini Holland” feasibility funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) in the Westbourne and Wish areas has been successful. The council one of just 19 authorities across the country to submit a successful bid.

This is particularly exciting as it links up with other projects in West Hove, namely the Kingsway to the Sea Project and the A259 Project to the south of the proposed Mini Holland area.

Mini Holland involves intensive transformational spending on local roads and streetscapes to make them as cycle and pedestrian friendly as their Dutch equivalents.

This includes the installation of high-quality segregated cycle lanes on main roads, low-traffic neighbourhoods and high streets as well as greater road space allocation for people walking.

The funding is only for a feasibility study to develop a scheme at this stage. Active Travel England will choose the schemes that receive full funding during the next financial year.

I look forward to working with residents, community groups, council staff and councillor colleagues to develop these exciting plans further.

Councillor Carmen Appich is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.

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